Snow in Charlotte

It may not look like much, but snow like this shuts down the entire city of Charlotte! I heard somewhere that they have 2 snow plows for the entire city. I am sure that's not the case, but you get the picture. Most of the main roads are clear but the problem is getting out of your small streets. I had a gut feeling that Jimmy was going to come early. I just knew it. So when this snow dumped on us just 11 days before his birth, I started to get a little panicky. Many of the roads were closed. And my biggest worry was if my friends would be able to get to my house out of their steep driveways etc. My Mom was scheduled to fly in exactly one week early. About 10 days before his due date (which was March 7) I began having some pretty intense braxton hicks. I'll never forget walking around our neighborhood in my giant snow coat with my HUGE waddle. I am certain people thought I was horrendous. I was also quite shocked to be having a baby amid the snow. With the March due date, I never predicted such cold weather in Charlotte. It was actually kind of fun. 

 Annie and I had a blast playing in the snow together and it was a really great moment for me as her Mom. We built a snow man and then proceeded to tip him over, with her belly giggles I could hardly contain my love for her. I soaked in every last minute with her. I was going to miss this time with just my baby girl. At one point she held a giant snowball up to my belly for baby brother to see. I knew the change would be hard, but oh so so good. 

My Pregnancy with Jimmy

Let this be known as the biggest group of selfies you've ever seen. I feel terrible that I hardly documented Jimmy's pregnancy. Lets just say it was quite an unusual time for us. But baby boy deserves a good record of this. We found out we were expecting the day I got home from a visit to the Barkers. I surprised James right outside his office with a gift bag that contained a pregnancy test. He was so excited. I quickly became quite sick. I was FAR more tired than I was with Annie but was throwing up a lot less. I remember moving to our new home around 11 weeks and throwing up several times on the side of the road. We announced right at 14 weeks and could hardly contain our excitement. However, I was also very nervous. It should be said that Annie was very difficult at this time. I was terrified of having two babies. And was also sad to lose my one on one time with my little girl. But we knew it was time and were feeling so blessed to be expecting another baby. Since Annie had a swollen kidney in utero and it really freaked me out, I decided to have some additional screening done this time. Nothing too invasive - just the typical blood work etc. This included an additional ultrasound at around 13 or 14 weeks. When I went in they asked if I was going to find out the gender. I said yes and asked if they could tell something or make a prediction. The tech told me it was a boy. I asked, "are you sure, it's so early." She said she'd be shocked if she were wrong. That was then verified by the doctor who came in to look as well. I felt horrible I found out before James but played it off that we should wait for the official 20 week ultrasound to be certain. Sure enough, it was a boy. We were ecstatic! I felt pretty tired for the first 16 weeks. This is sadly when Annie started watching more TV as I could barely peal my eyes open most days. But about 16 weeks I felt great. My weight game was slow and I was working out several times a week. I felt awesome during the second trimester! This time things were very different as the baby was sitting a lot lower. Sadly, there wasn't much running or jumping and I can distinctly remember a couple embarrassing restroom moments with this pregnancy. My body was simply not the same. Lots of pressure and waddling started around 30 weeks. As usual I was measuring small around 25 weeks. We had an extra ultrasound or two but this time I wasn't worried one bit. I knew this was just what my body did. However, if you take a look at these photos it's quite alarming. Something happened in January. Perhaps it was all of the emotional eating, but my belly got HUGE the last 4 weeks. I really ballooned at that point. It's very strange as this didn't really happen with Annie. My weight gain also increased rapidly. I distinctly remember that I wouldn't look at the scale after I got back at Boston. When I arrived at the hospital to deliver they said your due date is this and you weigh about this - I was completely alarmed at my weight but luckily was in too much pain to think much about it. Yikes, this was definitely different than with Annie. The last 6 weeks were terribly miserable of rme. With my first pregnancy I worked out 4 days before giving birth. This was not the case here. Jimmy carried much lower. And I had HORRIFIC sciatic nerve pain. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but this was truly miserable. I hobbled everywhere - BIG time. And this is no exaggeration. I had people ask me, "Do you walk like this normally or is it just pregnancy?" My doctor assured me it would go away after birth but I feared I had really done something bad. I really, really wanted to go early this time. My doctor told me he would induce me on my due date if I'd like. But I knew I'd never go for it. Soeaking of my doctor. I went to the Bradford clinic here in Charlotte. I had several people recommend it to me. I wasn't a huge fan of rotating doctors every visit but did run across many doctors I love, especially my Doctor (Dr. Bhojwani - no that's no a typo) who was absolutely fabulous, thorough and kind. And then two women doctors. One of which had just had her own baby. She was really awesome. I was checked several times leading up to my delivery and was dilated to a 1 the first time and almost a 2 the second. One of the women was also married to an investment banker and understood my concern for having a good idea when the baby would come. She said she would be absolutely shocked if I made it to my due date given my early delivery, carrying low and already being dilated. 

I was planning on trying to have a natural delivery again. I explained to all of my doctors that they had my full support in doing whatever necessary to keep me and the baby healthy. I also explained, and my doctors agreed, that epidurals really play no part in a "healthy" delivery. I really only wanted drugs if it was a c-section situation. They were all incredibly supportive, especially since I had done it with the first. As time went on I started to get quite nervous. What if I couldn't hack it? James loved my delivery with Annie. Would he still love the delivery if I had an epidural? At our hospital you have to "pre-order" an epidural. I went ahead and did that to be on the safe side. I read a little bit beforehand and vowed that I really wanted to do it again. 

All I know is I used to kind of balk at the women who waddled and complained about being uncomfortable during pregnancy. As usual, be careful what you say. This time was a much different experience. Toward the end this time I truly thought he was going to drop out at any moment. I was miserable and so ready to meet our sweet baby boy. 


Royal Baby Must Haves

For the last year I have been going on local TV talking about products. I was lucky enough to have this opportunity fall into my lap after leaving the news business and have a wonderful publicist who has done all of the leg work and sent me the products. I still love working with her but to be honest, my heart just wasn't in all of the products. Since having a baby and learning to be a little bit more precise and organized in my adult years, I have really fallen in love with product research. I've learned a lot from the wonderful Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day, who says you shouldn't bring anything into your home unless you absolutely love it. It's a motto we are trying to embrace around here (though the Target $1 section still gets me sometimes). I especially love talking about baby products. To make a long story short, I got both NBC's Charlotte Today and Charlotte Smarty Pants on board and away we went. I picked my top 12 FAVORITE baby products and I went after them. It was not easy and took a whole lot more work than one might expect. But I did it! I felt like I was really sharing valuable information with viewers and had loads of people asking me for recommendations after. I absolutely loved it. I was also lucky enough to share all of these goodies with one awesome, and well deserving Mama. I can't thank these 12 brands enough for working with me. 

I stole James away from the office to help me haul in all of my gear (hello, 9 months pregnant). It made me so happy to have him there. I'll never forget how darling he was when we first started dating and I was in the throws of my hardest journalism course. I'd pull all nighters and he'd show up to the newsroom with bagels the next morning. From the very beginning he has believed in me more than I believe in myself. He's simply the best. This situation couldn't be better as I am able to keep my pinky toe in news and both feet in motherhood and homemaking. Exactly how I like it.

It was also hysterical as I limped along in tall heels with my 9 month pregnant belly. I believe I had Jimmy 6 days after the segment aired. Remind me again to never go on television with that giant swollen face. But it was worth every.single.second. Loved it.

Jimmy's Shower

I am humiliated by my lack of photos of this amazing shower and mostly of my dear friends that attended. After canceling the shower the first time for Marjorie's funeral, I felt terrible when they said they'd still like to do it. And boy was it perfect. Kirby put it all together and it was held at Racquel's home. It was darling, the food was delicious, they went above and beyond on the presents and above else - the company was THEE best. After 2.5 years in Charlotte, I looked around the room and became teary eyed. I can't believe all of the wonderful women in I have in my life. They've shaped me into a mother. Into a believe of Christ. And into a much better person than 2.5 years ago. I cherish every single one of them. Thank you for the perfect day ladies.

A Few February Happenings Before Jimmy

Annie and I went to Whole Foods a bunch for dinner at the salad bar. I was always amazed by the healthy choices she made. One night we went up stairs and happened to sit right next to a homeless woman who had somehow found herself at a Whole Foods table and was sleeping. Annie found her quite interesting and was so confused by why she was sleeping. I found myself perplexed as to how to explain the situation but did my best. I'll remember how taken aback Annie was that she didn't have a home. I really started to see how quickly she was growing up and understanding.

My belly pictures continued. 

I ordered our first round of diapers and was completely giddy over how teeny tiny this newborn diaper was. Oh man, I need to stop looking at this now - it makes me slightly baby hungry again,

Annie completely stopped taking naps in February it was such a bust as it happened right before the baby was supposed to arrive. But at the same time - she was usually out for the night by 6:30. We learned particularly that we COULD NOT let her watch shows or ride in the car after 3 pm or she'd fall asleep. This day she couldn't make it past 4 pm and I found her in the living room fast asleep. Oh how I love that sweet sleeping girl.

I remember trying to get a picture of Annie loving on the belly. It wasn't going well and I was mortified at how huge I looked in this picture. I still am. Yikes I got big this pregnancy!

I finally braved showing my face again at gymnastics. I knew there would be a lot of explaining to do as the last time we were there we had run out so quickly in tears. They were so so sweet and Annie loved getting to do her flips and balancing.

Nothing fit. Like I said, I was huge these last few weeks of pregnancy with Jimmy. So I dashed to the mall and into H&M. I HAD to find something for my baby shower the next morning. I'll never forget a male sales associate telling me that maybe I should try the plus size section. 

There was one Sunday afternoon that the weather really got warm. February was the strangest time. Warm then cold then warm then cold. We dashed to the park for a playdate. It was the beginnings of my walking marathon as I tried to get this baby to come out.

I had a little Valentines playmate at my house with our Huntersville friends. We made treats and decorated valentines. It was a blast and I love this photo of Paige and Annie. Such darling friends. 

I tried to plow through some nursery projects. I didn't actually get these but we started to really finalize our decision on Jimmy's name. 

I also was working on a baby segment for Charlotte Today and resorted to Destination Maternity. I could not get over how hysterical I looked in this dress. I mean, that belly!

About 2 weeks out from my due date I put the carseat in the car. Annie was so excited to have a baby riding next to her soon.

Annie continued to throw some pretty epic tantrums. This one resulted in her crashing in my arms in the front seat. On top of my 9 month pregnant belly.

Despite my insane pain I started to go to the gym once or twice for about 20 minutes of stair climber. I REALLY wanted this baby to come. I was insanely uncomfortable.

We had Lily over for a little playmate. We had just decided on attending her same preschool. We were wait listed but were really hoping it would work out for us to get into her school. We love playing with Lily.

I had darling Ellie Maughan come over and play with Annie a few times while I tried to get a few things ready for the baby. Annie LOVED it. Ellie came prepared with a babysitting kit complete with a picnic and craft for Annie. 8 year olds make the best babysitters (when Mom is still at home, of course).

For Valentines we went out for Sushi (yes, even pregnant) with the Fish's and Gross'. We are thrilled to  have had Emi and Michael move into the ward. We followed it up at our favorite spot - gelato at Whole Foods. James gave me a necklace I've been eying and wen't full force with the letter J. We were finally starting to settle on a name. We aren't huge Valentines Day people and I've made James promise hew won't go the easy way out and get me flowers, as I can usually buy the same bouquet at Trader Joes for $5. This year he was very thoughtful. We reminisced about all that had happened and all that was ahead. As we always say, "We can do hard things." So blessed to have that guy.

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